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Community Formation Commission

Introduction and Overview

The Santa Barbara City Council is establishing the Community Formation Commission (CFC) to guide the creation of a civilian police review system.

The CFC will explore different civilian police review systems, existing and new police accountability systems, and the specific needs of Santa Barbara’s many communities.  The CFC will also review the Santa Barbara Police Department’s existing standards and protocols.

Following its examination of these issues within the context of Santa Barbara’s specific needs and systems, the CFC will make recommendations to the City Council for creation of a civilian oversight system in Santa Barbara.

Qualifications for Service

The City Council seeks a diverse group of people to represent the community by serving on a new Community Oversight Formation Commission.  The Council seeks people whose life experience, education, professional skills, and community standing will garner the confidence and trust of the community.  CFC members should have a demonstrated interest in community affairs, social justice, criminal justice, and equal rights issues.  The Council wants the membership of the CFC to be broad-based and inclusive in all dimensions.  U.S. citizenship is not required.  Applications are due by December 4, 2020.


The City of Santa Barbara does not discriminate in hiring or appointments, and welcomes all applicants, including specifically persons of any:

  • Race or color
  • Ancestry or national origin
  • Religion or creed
  • Age
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Sex, gender (including, but not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Military or veteran status.

Additional Desirable Qualifications

In addition, the Council seeks qualified applicants from the following communities or affiliations:

  • Formerly incarcerated persons
  • Unhoused persons or advocates
  • LGBTQIA+ persons, including LGBTQIA+ persons of color
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Neighborhood organizations
  • Community foundations
  • Academic community
  • Background in Sociology
  • Background in Psychology
  • Background in Labor Relations
  • Background in Criminal Justice

Organizational Support or Nominations

The Council will give additional weight to applications from persons who are supported or nominated by a community or neighborhood organization, foundation, or other interest group (though such nominations do not guarantee appointment to CFC).  The Council believes that widespread community involvement in this process is essential.  Civic engagement through the inclusion of a diverse range of interest groups will increase community involvement. 


The City will protect applicants’ and Commission members’ personal information to the full extent allowed by law.  This Commission will conduct extensive and highly visible public outreach, and will make what may be controversial recommendations.  It is not legally possible to conceal the identity of participants.

How Do I Apply?

You may apply by completing an application form available from the Santa Barbara City Clerk’s Office or online.  The City Clerk’s Office will provide technical assistance to persons wishing to apply.  Applications will be made available in Spanish and English.

All applicants will have an opportunity to interview in public with the City Council.  The City Council is asking all applicants to be prepared to address these two questions:

Why do you want to be on the CFC?

What personal or professional experiences do you have that pertain to discussions of policing in our community and/or to police oversight more broadly?

  • Application Deadline – December 4, 2020
  • Interviews – January 12, 2021 and January 26, 2021

Summary & Other Details




Selected by Commission


Either personal or professional experience, or both, that will garner the confidence and trust of the Santa Barbara community, including: relevant lived experience, demonstrated community standing, and relevant academic research or professional experience


$50/meeting attended


Approximately 1 year

Meeting Schedule

Monthly, plus as needed

Flexible Meeting Times

Staff support will be available outside of normal work hours, including weekends and evenings

Time Commitment

4 to 20 hours/month

Financial Disclosure?


Training Requirements

Yes, Successful applicants will receive Ethics training required by AB 1234 and extensive training in police practices and community policing needs and options

Professional and Logistical Assistance

The Council anticipates the Commission retaining a professional facilitator after a thorough selection process

Staff Liaisons

City Attorney’s Office, 805-564-5326
Others as requested

Appointment Process

City Council selects 13 members from applicant pool. Council will give special weight to nominations from neighborhood organizations and community foundations

 Reference Community Formation Commission Information [PDF]

Community Formation Commission Appointments PowerPoint for City Council

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2021
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